The story of Two-Toed Tom actually originated near the stateline community of Florala, Alabama, and was first recorded by folklorist Carl Carmer in the 1930s. On a visit to the area, he was told of a "red-eyed hell demon" in alligator form that had been eating cows and mules and even assaulting local women. An encounter with a steel trap had left him with only two toes on one foot, hence his unusual name. Dynamite failed to killed him and before finally leaving the area on his own, he was blamed not only for killing livestock, but for murdering humans as well.
|16th Century Indians battle a Gator|
From Esto and Noma the monster seems to have drifted down nearby Holmes Creek to the Choctawhatchee River, where giant alligator prints were found in the 1980s. The tracks, discovered on Boynton Island on the border between Washington and Walton Counties, were unique in that one of the feet had only two toes.
Residents of the region continue to report sightings of the monster and he is popular fare for Panhandle story tellers. To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/alligator2.